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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 25, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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museum of the city of new york curator donald albrecht says new york is following the lead of other cities. >> the city's going to have 600,000 more people and a lot of those people are going to be sing single. so they want smaller units that they can afford. >> reporter: what may buy a house in other parts of the country won't get you far in new york city. one major realtor in new york says the average price for a study studio apartment is roughly $300,000. >> the average price here is $1.4 million. for that you're getting a small apartment. so even though this seems really expensive, for new york, it's a bargain. >> reporter: a bargain for someone who thinks outside the books b box but is willing to live in one. those prices are for owning. for rent market race is $2,000 plus. the city announced the winner of
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a contest to build the micro union units. they're expected to be ready in 2015. wolf and kate? >> small, small apartment. but you know, it's in manhattan, you don't have to commute. it's pretty cool. >> do what you got to do. maybe spend a lot less time at home. >> thanks very much for watching. you can follow us on twitter, tweet me @wolfblitzer. >> the white me @katebaldwin. >> "erin burr rent out front" starts next. they're zeroing in on the main interacts behind the hostage crisis in algeria but we told you about them last week. if the nra has such influence, why is one of its most senior lobbyists criticizing it? the ceo of yahoo! is an instant rock star. she's crashed servers around the planet today. let's go "outfront."
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good evening. i'm erin burnett and "outfront" tonight the mali terror connection. u.s. officials are zeroing in on terrorists based in northern mali as the suspects behind last week's terror attack in algeria. three americans were killed in that attack, seven survived. barbara starr broke this news today. u.s. officials now say this is the case. why aren't they entirely sure who is behind an attack which frankly was this big, this ambitious, this significant? >> reporter: good evening. the big problem right now of course is algerian intelligence. still not sharing full information with the u.s., so the u.s. doesn't have the full picture. the cia turning to other ways to try and find out what has happened here. planes, drones, telephone intercepts, agents on the ground. all of that at their disposal should they be choosing to use it. all of this now leading to the
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preliminary assessment, preliminary, based on what they have been able to dpatsser themselves, that they believe al qaeda in the islamic maghreb, aqim, al qaeda in north africa, and a militant in the area, mokhtar belmokhtar, another guy your show has taken a look at. the two of them joined forces to carry out this attack. fit is proven to be true, a very dangerous emerging connection in north africa. >> barbara starr, thank you very much. barbara now reporting this connection, that the u.s. government sees. barbara said, we did talk about this last would be hours after the siege began. i spoke on the phone with omar amaha, a military leader in the militant grube an shar al dean. he told me americans were being held mestage and the attackers demanded the end to french and american vochld in mali for their release. he knew because, he told me, he's working with because of al
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qaeda's most senior leaders, mokhtar belmokhtar, the person claiming responsibility for the january 16th attack. omar omaha made claims how widespread the terror network is in north africa when i asked how many fighters he had. >> translator: listen. the number of fighters is not important for us. be it 10,000 or only 10 people. we're going to hit in the heart all the countries of west africa. it's no longer only in northern mali. yes, it's not only in bomoko. it will be western africa. not only western africa, a big battle against france and the united states and all the other countries that want to intervene. >> retired general wesley clark is the former nato commander, retired air force colonel cedric layton is a former intelligence of a certificate. general clark, let me start with you. barbara starr just reported the algerian government has not been continuing, the cia has tried to piece this together themselves. this makes it very complicated
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and much more difficult. but only now, more than a week later, the u.s. government is connecting the dots which at least from when we talked to omar on the day of the attack seemed to be perhaps visible very early on. what is causing the delay? >> i would suspect the algerian government's quite embarrassed by the poor results. they've been criticized roundly by other western countries for not running a very effective operation. had a lot of people killed in the operation. it's not the way it's done. they pushed it up, they accelerated it, they simply don't have the sophisticated special ops capabilities for hostage rescue capabilities that western countries have. but eventually, i'm convinced, they will share information. we're going to find out a lot more about the mali connection, the libyan connection, and a whole network moving throughout north africa as we focus more and more sen ors on this area.
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>> you heard that their ambition is not just mali, it's to control all the countries in west africa. and they also want to take the battle outside of that, to france and the united states. now, of course, that is what we have become familiar to hearing from al qaeda-linked groups. he said, look, this is going to be a long war, he equated when it we spoke to iraq and afghanistan, saying it would be as dangerous if not more so. do you dismiss this as bravado or should it be taken seriously? >> i'm afraid it's going to have to be taken seriously. like he said, even with only ten people, they can wreak a lot of havoc and that becomes the huge intelligence challenge that we have. we need to make sure as a nation we have the right intelligence capabilities in place to make sure that we find these kinds of terrorist groups before they attack us, whether it's in our home country or in the home countries of our allies. >> general clark, i'm curious what the united states is going to do about it. so far, at least militarily, the answer has been, not much. no one's been held -- put in jail for what happened in
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benghazi. now we're trying to figure out what happened in algeria. never mind what sort of revenge would be exacted upon those who perpetrated it. here's what defense secretary leon panetta told me what he would do against al qaeda in mali. >> we've got to go after al qaeda wherever the hell they're at. and make sure they find no place to hide. because let's not forget the main goal of al qaeda is to attack the united states. we've got to go after them. in yemen, in somalia, and yes, in mali if necessarily. >> he says, go after wherever the hell they're at, whether that be yemen, somalia, or mali. jay carney though from the white house, really much more tentati tentative. here's what he said just this week. >> wear working with france and support their effort in mali. and believe that the goal of preventing terrorists safe haven
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is an important one. >> general clark, going after al qaeda wherever the hell they're at is very different than, we are working with france. >> well, not necessarily, erin. first of all, we have the africa command there, they're working very closely with french counterparts and british counterparts who are part of this. obviously the intelligence community is working together with its allied nations. perhaps not as closely yet with algeria as we'd like. but i believe that will come. we'll put a noose around them. we'll bring in the right assets. what we don't want to do is excite a lot of war fever on this that culminates in sort of, put the marines, in get in there with a lot of ground troops. this is a huge area. this is an area that's ideal for the kind of sensors the united states has if we can tie it together with ground assets, put in by the malians, the french, the nigeran, other people in the region. we have to net the intelligence together and use precision strike, probably with unmanned air vehicles, it may be with
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special ops. >> right. let me ask you, colonel b. that. the hope from the obama administration, of course, that is france can achieve the goal of at the least containing, which is the words that they've used, al qaeda and the radicals. obviously, at one point, francois hollande went further and said, completely getting rid of them. even if france claims clear victory i have to be honest all the sources i've spoken to, u.s. government and elsewhere, are not confident in france's ability to fully do that. will the united states be able to avoid more significant involvement or not? >> i think we have to plan as if we won't be able to avoid this kind of significant involvement. basically what that means is just as general clark mentioned, we are going to have to make sure that we have the right kind of sensors? pla in place, logistics in place, do the planning that puts the right kinds of troops in place should we need to go in and do something preferably with a surgical variety. this is going to be a major issue for us because the french
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will be able to achieve certain tactical successes. but from the broad strategic standpoint, it's going to be more difficult for them to root out this al qaeda element. >> thanks very much to both you have. we appreciate it. . >> still to come, a major labbyist for the nra admitted the nra was wrong. some of the most powerful people in the world flock to a speech by the ceo of yahoo!. and then something truly bizarre happened. a catholic hospital sued for two children's deaths. some are calling the defense utter hypocrisy. later in the show what made a hedge fund manager say this? >> i'm telling you, he's like the crybaby in the schoolyard. i went to a tough school in queens. they used to beat up the little jewish boys. he was light one of these little jewish boys crying that the world was taking advantage of him. ♪
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ill advised. that's what jim baker, with the nra, calls this the ad. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at
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their school? >> the nra ad you may recall prompted an outraged response from the white house, press secretary carney called it repugnant and cowardly. baker went on to say to reuters, i think the ad could have made a good point if it talked about the need for increased school security without use the president's children. in a statement the nra tells "outfront," differences of opinion are common to organizations throughout the country where there is no disagreement, however, is with nra's belief that every child in america should be safe. that sort of sounds like a smackdown of their lobbyist. what do you think? was baker speaking out of turn or not? john avlon, there's disagreement in the nra. i don't know if you view it as a smackdown, it appeared to be to me. what do you make of this public divide within the nra? >> it's very, very interesting. of course, the nra has been thrust into the news because of the tragedy at newtown. they have a chance to actually grow their brand or hurt their brand and i think it remains to
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be seen exactly what the long-term effects of this are. but i saw that ad using the president's children. i think the spirit and the intent, the message behind the ad, look, his children are protected by people with heavy artillery and guns, wouldn't you want your kids to be protected the same way? that makes sense. the problem is, personally, my opinion is, i don't like using children in political ads of any kind. i think consistently speaking, i also don't like the president when he uses children to sign a bill, obama care uses children as props, he used them when he did the executive orders about gun control. so those types of things on both sides to me i just have a problem with. children are innocent people in this world and they don't need to be political pawns. this is about a much bigger issue and i think we need to leave the children out of it. >> john avlon, even if you agree the only thing to me that then seems problematic about that ad with the nra is, look, the president's children do have protection. they're the children of the president of the united states.
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and i think it is fair to assume that in many ways those children are at higher risk than other children in this country. they are targets of kidnapping and other things. there's a reason they have that security. >> absolutely. i mean, that's why the ad doesn't pass the common sense test, there's a fundamental difference that everyone understands. if a democratic activist group had mentioned president bush's daughters in that contest and questioned their getting security contributors thought of been outraged rightly. >> you talked about if the tables were turned. let me turn them. it's not children in this ad. hogan, i don't know if you've seen it. we played it last night. >> i have. >> it's a shocking ad. this is a liberal pro-obama coalition to stop gun violence, it's an ad they ran against a democratic congressman who supports guns. john barrow. he's from georgia. here's the ad attacking him. >> i'm john barrow. >> breaking news now. >> there's been a shooting a the a school. >> long before i was born -- >> 20 children, children, children targeted. >> my grandfather used this
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little smith and wesson here -- >> beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. >> and for as long as i can remember, my father always had this rifle real handy. >> someone's shooting in the building. >> and they are interspersing their coverage of newtown with one of john barrow's election ads. that ad was also repugnant. >> absolutely. it absolutely is. extremes are always their own side's worst enemy. i don't think there's any comparison, the nra to this organization. but just reality check here. barrow is one of the few remaining blue dog democrats left in the south. he's an endangered species. the fact that he's being targeted by a liberal group for running an ad trying to say he's strong second amendment doesn't make sense. it reminds me an old line lyndon johnson used to use. what's the difference between liberals and the cannibals? cannibals only eat their friends and family members. so i don't think this ad is particularly helpful.
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>> very funny. perhaps true because it hits close to the mark. hogan, what about this, why can't the head of the nra just apologize and just, you know -- why is he standing by that ad? it makes him look bad. >> it does. look, i said this, i've said this many times, if the nra had used this type of language and said something like, look, we are about responsible gun ownership in this country, we're for the second amendment put we don't want anyone to have a gun who commits pass are mass murder and we want to protect our citizenry, we want responsible gun ownership. that doesn't mean you have to push for assault weapon bans, they wouldn't do that, they stand for the second amendment. the point is couching it that way, you win more friends that way. but i do want to make a point to the previous ad about barrow. i talked to people in georgia this afternoon. some high-ranking political officials, some consultants in the state. and they said, look, that ad is absolutely going to backfire and that will propel barrow in that
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ad. and the most repugnant part of it, other than using children, he held up that little gun and said, my grandfather used this gun -- then it cut to pictures and obama talking about dead children. but they didn't use the rest of the sentence which was, "to stop a lynching." he used the gun for something good. they perverted it on the back echbltd quote. really repugnant. >> the extremes of body wings are their worst enemies. there's lots of cannibals on the the far right too. >> there are. the world's movers and sh e shakers packing the room to hear yahoo!'s new ceo speak. then the video feed goes down. top republicans refer to their own party as the party of stupid. so, will anything change? later in the show, why is it so cold here? rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm...
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our third story "outfront," idolizing a tech titan mom. today the world's movers and shakers clamored to watch yahoo!'s ceo marisa mayo in davos, switzerland. so many people wanting to hear from her it was standing room only, waiting in line, snaking around the door. there was so much demand for live stream that it crashed, you couldn't see it. myer was a google executive when she was tapped to run yahoo!. she was well respected but not rock star. then all of a sudden she
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rocketed. at 37 the youngest chief executive of a fortune 500 company. she was six months pregnant. in september she gave birth to a baby boy. two weeks later, she returned to her ceo job. richard quest is "outfront." why the sudden and amazing and overwhelming interest in marissa mayer? >> it doesn't matter which way you cut it, this woman is seen as a rock star, a superstar, in the ceo suites of the world. young, has a young family, and has taken over a company some would see as obsolete or at least an albatross and is now having the job of turning it around. when she came to davos and gave that speech she was very much setting out the parameters of how yahoo! is now going to move forward. as she admitted in the speech it has no mobile hardware, it has no mobile software, it has no os. but what she talked about is
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yahoo!'s ability to partner with all these other people and that is the way she sees it going forward. >> yeah, you know, it's amazing. i remember meeting her once at a magazine shoot. i always thought she was incredible because she's so successful at her job, at the time she was at google. she was so successful there. yet she was also very comfortable saying, i'm a woman, and i enjoy thing that is people think are female. clothes, things like that. i'm not going to be some sort of a woman executive who has to act like a man. and maybe that is part of the fascination. >> ah, but no, the fascination here, the fashion nation here is what she's taken on. all right, super woman. has a child, back in the office wind a couple of weeks. but the real fascination is what she's taken on and her youth. can she take yahoo!, turn it around, and make it into a success? particularly after all the other people who have not had any success in that regard. that is why people are
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fascinated by her. that is why they were so interested to hear. >> she is fascinating. davos, she may have been one of the stars, but obviously you have movers and shakers from around the world. derek jeter is there. celebrities are there. prime ministers and presidents are there. just how wealthy are the folks there with you tonight, richard? >> look, you know, wheni do come here, you know that there will be a moment and it happened to me yesterday and it happened to me today when you just become overwhelmed by the sheer number of i'd say important people. the presidents, the prime ministers. whether it's the governor over here, whether it's the bank executive over here, the chief executive over here, the minister over there. time and again, you're literally going like this. and there comes this point, erin, when you just feel like you've been mind-whipped, you don't know which way to turn. i'm not going to say which ceo
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but there was a couple of them here that you saw several times and you really ended up going around the corner to avoid them. because you had nothing else to say to them. you've done all your small talk, asked all the questions, you didn't know what else you wanted to say. davos works. davos works. it is elite. it is sometimes pretentious. it is frequently obnoxious. and it is regularly irrelevant. but it works because it brings everybody together at the beginning of the year to set an agenda and let everybody else know what each other's thinking. a man sues a catholic hospital for the death of his children. and you may not believe what defense the catholic hospital is using. some republicans are calling their own party stupid. are we about to see a major, major overhaul? talk about cannibals eating their own.
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half of "outfront." we start with stories we care about where we focus with reporting from the front lines. today on the two-year anniversary of the egyptian revolution that ousted hosni
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mubarak from power, the streets about filled with violence. protesters for and against president mohamed morsi clashed with police, at least seven died. morsi did not confront the people but tweeted. he called on people to uphold the noble principles of the revolution. apple is no longer the world's biggest company. the title belongs to exxonmobil. apple shares plummeted on the heels of disappointing earnings resulted and plunged over 12%. apple's market kappesed exxonmobil august 9th, 2011. it's been sitting pretty 18 months, seemingly untouchable. tonight it is $5 billion behind exxon. when information about apple's new products starts to leak out this spring, the stock may once again go up and up. wall street is notoriously cutthroat, often brutally and disgustingly so. which is why when two
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competitors have a beef usually they talk in nasty terms, but behind each other's back. wall street defines backstabbing or at least they're a little more subtle than what we saw from billionaire hedge fund titans today. they battled on live television for half an hour about a stock that's been surrounded by controversy. >> he's a quintessential example that wall street, if you want a friend, get a dog. >> why does he threaten to sue me? he's a bully. >> he's a liar. >> this is not an honest guy. this is not a guy who keeps his work. he takes advantage of little people. >> how did you really feel, guys? have you ever felt like you'd want to just say that to somebody you hated at work? well, hey, they did it. the battle is not new to those two. they have been feuding for nearly a decade. maybe that's why it was finally time to air it publicly. it has been so cold in new york, icy roads are making for hazard does driving around the country. kentucky and tennessee hard
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heat. new york, new jersey and pennsylvania warming centers have opened up. crucial to those trying to recover from superstorm sandy. our weather desk says this arctic blast is going to hang on think the weekend. an ice storm could create havoc in iowa, illinois, and northern missouri on sunday. it's been 540 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it pack in the paste is starting to make cutbacks. it was announced they have begun laying off 46,000 contract and temporary civilian employees to cut costs. that's what happens. you cut costs, but you can see how much pain that will cause. our fourth story "outfront," the party of stupid. it's not my word but it is the word at least one republican used to describe his own party. here's louisiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate bobby jindal speaking what he sees as the brutal truth last night. >> we've got to stop being the stupid party. and i'm serious.
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it's time for a new republican party that talks like adults. it's time for us to articulate our plans and our visions for america in real terms. it's no secret we had a number of republicans that damaged the brain this year with offensive and bizarre comments. i'm here to say we've had enough of that. >> mark pressen is our political director, standing by at that meeting in charlotte where ryan previs was elected to a second term. harsh words from jindal about his own party, to his own party. i heard a little laughter, maybe nervous. how were his comments received? >> i got to tell you, in some ways that speech by bobby jindal was a call to arms for conservatism, at the same time erin, i think it might have been a campaign speech. overall the theme of it was well-received. i think republicans are very frustrated about what happened in the november election. they were not very happy with mitt romney as a candidate at the very end. and of course, some of those ridiculous comments that we heard such as legitimate rape
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from some senate candidates were very damaging to the party. so right now republicans here in charlotte spent the last couple of days talking about how to recalibrate their message and this is their goal, try to reach out to minority voters and young voters, the new chairman says he's going to put a plan together. we'll see fit works. >> interesting. it's going to take them a few months to do it and the new chairman is the old chairman. you've not to wonder how much change there is at the top of this party. bobby jindal obviously wants to be a standard-bearer and be part of the change. obviously the previous standard-bearer mitt romney wasn't even there. what are they saying about mitt romney? was he a topic of discussion at all? >> you know, out of sight, out of mind. in fact, any discussion of mitt romney was just kind of in hushed tones here in the hallways because he's gone. he's the past. they're talking about the future. although bobby jindal last night did take, you know, a little bit of a jab at mitt romney. made fun of his political operation, insider joke during
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his speech. he was also very credit calf of mitt romney when mitt romney had mentioned the whole 47%, the divided nation. bobby jindal said for the republican party to succeed, that they have to go for every vote. now, as we say this, mitt romney was in washington, d.c. today, he was at a luncheon with some friends. we saw john mccain was at the luncheon. we know his vice presidential running mate paul ryan also attended the luncheon. he's certainly kept a low profile since the election. but i tell you, i spoke to a top aide, erin, and the top aide told me that mitt romney might not be very public right now, but expect him to certainly come out in the future. they don't know exactly when. mitt romney is going to be -- remain political. he will try to remain relevant in the republican party. but he also knows that he's no longer the did it ewe lar head of the republican party. there's a new generation for that. mitt romney, out of sight, out of mind, but i think we'll see
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him come back. >> a new generation that's very diverse. we'll see if they can possibly succeed at getting their voting electorate to become as diverse as some of their leadership seems to be. thanks very much, mark preston. anti-abortion activists flocked to washington today for the annual march for life, calling for new laws to outlaw abortion. one of the most powerful anti-abortion voices is the catholic church which firmly believes life begins at conception. one catholic hospital in colorado finds itself on the opposite side of this debate. it's an amazing story. "outfront" with this investigation. >> there wasn't one person that went into that er, there were three. >> reporter: jeremy's wife laurie, seven months pregnant with his twin boys. it was new year's day 2006. laurie was vomiting and couldn't breathe. he rushed her to st. thomas hospital in canyon city, colorado. >> laurie looked and up her head went down on her chest. >> reporter: in the lobby of the emergency room she went into full cardiac arrest from a
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pulmonary embolism. laurie stodgehill, 31 years old, died. and who did her 28 week along unborn twins. >> i didn't even get to hold them. i have an autopsy picture. that's all i've got. >> reporter: stodgehill sued the hospital and its owner, catholic health initiatives, which operates nearly 80 hospitals in 14 states. he filed the wrongful death suit on behalf of his wife and his unborn twin sons. in court, he was stunned to learn the hospital's defense. how many people does the hospital say you lost that day? >> one. since they weren't born, they weren't people. they did not qualify as a person. >> reporter: that's right. catholic health initiatives has argued that under colorado law, to be a person, one must at some point have been born alive. a glaring contradiction to catholic church teachings which says, life begins at conception.
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catholic health initiatives would not speak to cnn on camera but said in a statement, in this case, as catholic organizations, we are in union with the moral teachings of the church." that doesn't appear to add up. as a catholic organization the hospital is supposed to follow the church's teachings laid out in the ethical and religious directives from the u.s. conference of catholic bishops. no abortions. no contraceptives. no direct sterilization, like vasectomies. and it clearly states, catholic health ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until death." while the moral debate continues, so does jeremy stodgehill's legal battle. after he lost in the lower courts, the defense lawyers for the doctors and the hospital owned by catholic health initiatives went after him for $118,000 in legal fees garnishing his wages. he's now bankrupt and struggling to care for his daughter, 9-year-old libby, on his own.
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>> tears, pain, the heartache. still. seven years later. >> reporter: that pain is why he won't give up. he's now appealing to colorado supreme court, asking them to decide if his sons were people under the state's laws. will it make you feel better to get some sort of answer from the catholic church? >> i don't know. perhaps it will be closure. >> reporter: a permanent reminder next to his heart. >> that's the footprints of the boys. >> reporter: a tattoo. two sets of footprints and the words "our sons." children, in his eyes, fighting to get a state and church institution to see them that way as well. >> just a heartbreaking story. looking at jeremy there. what does he say the hospital could have done to save his twins' lives? >> reporter: what he's saying is that the hospital could have tried. what jeremy stodgehill is arguing that his wife was
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already in the er when she went into cardiac arrest. and that the hospital could have tried to do an emergency c-section. medical experts will tell you you have five minutes before the children suffer some sort of brain damage, before the fetuses before brain damage. he wants that answer but he believes the only way he'll get that answer is by going to court ander rip, he says he simply cannot seem to get there, judges keep wanting to dismiss this case. >> i know the bishops of colorado have now weighed in. what are they saying to you? >> reporter: this is a very important development. because it does appear, erin, that the bishops are beginning to rethink all of this. look at the statement that they released late last night. in the statement, and these are the colorado bishops, they're saying, we will undertake a full review of this litigation and of the policies and practices of catholic health initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the catholic church."
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so it certainly looks like they are at least going to reconsider all of this legal action. >> thank you very much. powerful piece. still "outfront," republicans working to change the rues of the electoral college. and would that change last fall have meant the president's name right now would be mitt romney? later in the show, 15,000 crocodiles escape. what are we doing to get them back? [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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we are back with tonight's "outer circle" where we reach oud to sorts around the world. we go to south africa where the search is on for thousands of crocodiles near the botswana border. rising floodwaters were threatening about 15,000 crocs on a breeding farm. the owners opened the farm's gates to relieve pressure. more than half the crocs or the loose. maybe that's good because they're not going to be turned into handbags. robyn curnow is following the story. >> reporter: fair to say the people who are trying to round up the crocs are doing it carefully. we understand the recapturing the mostly taking place at nighttime because crocodiles eyes grow red when lights reflected into them. in this largely farming rural area, residents are being warned not to try and capture the crocodiles by grabbing hold of
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their tails or trying to feed them. they're told to barricade them and keep them in the shade. the farm from which these 15,000 crocodiles escaped breeds them for their skins. for the crocodiles this is a welcome a.m. necessity because they would have ended up as shoes or a handbag. >> that is why i'm rooting for those crocodiles. i hope they understand, that farm is not your friend. let's check in with anderson cooper. billions of your tax dollars used and not much to show for it. this is outrageous. it was money wasted under the pretense of transforming a rail system. we're keeping them honest. they weren't such good pals. hillary clinton, president obama cap off a run as secretary of state on a sit-down interview on "60 minutes." he was an inspiration to photo journalists around the world. tim heathering ton died doing what he does best, what happened in the midst of world. libya, 40 years old, he was a
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friend to this program. i'll speak to his close friend and colleague sebastian younger who put together an amazing documentary celebrating his life. that and more at the top of the hour. our fifth story "outfront," changing the rules of the game. republicans in a number of states that president obama won in november want to change the way electoral votes in their states are distributed. currently all states except nebraska and maine award all electoral votes to one candidate. states like virginia, michigan, pennsylvania, and ohio are looking to award electoral vote busy congressional district. and that would give the gop a huge advantage in some crucial swing states. john king is "outfront" with all these changes could have affected this past election. >> if every state, if all 50 states, allocated electoral college votes based on congressional district, mitt romney would be the president right now. they would have won 273-262.
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in '08, obama would have beat john mccain but by a smaller margin. let me show you what they're talking about. state of ohio, the president carries it with 51%. mitt romney carried 12 of the 16 congressional districts in the state of ohio. so this state is considering passing a bill that says, not winner take all, do it by congressional district. the state of virginia, the governor says he dent support this law. not enough state senate republicans support this law. the state of virginia, president obama narrowly carries it. if you look at it here, it's 7 of 11. mitt romney carried seven of the 11 congressional districts so he would have won the majority of the electoral college votes. the country, if you did it by congressional district, in all 50 states, mitt romney would be the president today. what about this appears now to be dying but what makes it fascinating is if you had a change like this, look at it. if you did it that way what would change? democrats would be down campaigning in places like
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alabama. places like georgia. any of these voting rights states that have african-american congressional districts. we'd have a presidential campaign in which republicans would be out campaigning in california. we haven't seen that since that bush campaign in 1988. states of pennsylvania and especially new york. so if you did this in all 50 states it would make for a very different presidential election. >> pretty amazing. i want to bring in rowan to talk about this. you'd have to have -- republicans would get to be campaigning in the state of california. you'd have democrats having to campaign in states they take for granted right now. new york and new jersey, right? that's pretty amazing. that seems to be good. there's so many people in this country who are disenfranchised. because your vote does not count in a state that always goes deep. you're always on the other side. >> one of the big reasons democrats are upset about the idea is the congressional districts are drawn in such a way that benefits republicans. the thing is, that come the next
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census, that could flip around and democrats could be drawing those boundaries in ways that benefit them. there's not an intrinsic problem with doing it this way, the problem is when you do it in kind of a half-baked kind of way in which some states move in this direction but other states do not. that's when you get into trouble. that's when you actually get a backlash to the proposal. >> roland, if these changes were to take place. take ohio, as john was just referring to, and virginia where republicans dominated, mitt romney winning ohio and winning the presidential election. are democrats prepared to alter their ground game? roland's point aside whoever draws the districts, it will change. are they ready? >> driving over here i talked to a senior obama official, and they are extremely worried about this. they've already established a task force internally to look at these electoral college proposals. so look, they see what's going on. they say, sure, the thing is petering out. but they understand it.
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but erin, we've got to broaden this as well. keep in mind, 2008, president obama actually won one of those electoral college votes in nebraska. in that campaign. also, this is a problem for democrats. that is, in 1988, after reverend jesse jackson sr. lost the caucus, they led the effort to move democrats from winner take all in a democratic primary to proportional delegation. one of the reasons senator obama won the nomination was because of proportional delegation. when he lost nevada to senator clinton, he won more delegates because he won the congressional districts. democrats complain about it, but they also have proportional delegation in their own party. >> to me, if there was a way to just do it, forget congressional districts. because everybody cheats. when the other guy is drawing the line, you say he's cheating. but if you just did popular vote and did proportional
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allocations, that would -- wouldn't that be more fair? i don't think it's fair right now, 51% of the vote in the state goes to one guy, he gets 100% of the electoral college votes. >> that's a very interesting idea. to the point you raised before, when you're talking about in california, california is a democratic state. but there are a lot of republicans in that democratic state. and you don't have republican presidential candidates trying to win their votes. so if you said that if republicans are -- have 40% of the vote, allocate 40% of those electorat electorates, thaet not a crazy idea. in virginia, the state that set off this controversy, the state senator, his idea was not only do you distribute these by congressional district, you also give the two additional electors to the candidate who wins the most districts, rather than the most votes in that state. that set people off. unlike maine and nebraska. that's an idea that really set people off. because it says that even if
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someone loses the state overall, they're not going to get the two extra electorates. >> this is what this whole thing exposes. it exposes the weakness of the democratic party by focusing on national elections and not state elections. one of the reasons we're seeing these take place, like voter suppression laws, like when it comes to abortion and the president's health care plan, is that republicans flipped 60 legislators in 2010. democrats have got to understand, if you do not have statewide parties, if you're not running statewide, this is how you lose. howard dean talked about a 50-state strategy. if democrats don't begin to understand that, and keep letting republicans take over the house and the senate and the governors' mansions in states, we'll see more of this happening. this really is exposing the weakness of the democratic party statewide as opposed to winning nationally. >> thanks to both of you. have a wonderful weekend. still to come, the french government has declared war. and i'm not talking about in
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it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives. it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing? we're going to wake the world up. ♪ and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. ♪ cisco. tomorrow starts here.
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france and america. it's truly a love/hate relationship. although france would never say that, not because they believe that, but because it's in english. france is one. few countries in the world that has a police department for words. the commission generale comes up with french versions of foreign words. in the past th